| Quote #1
The oldest man present [of the Umuofia Progressive Union] broke one of them [kola nuts], saying another kind of prayer while he did it. "He that brings kola nuts brings life," he said. "We do not seek to hurt any man, but if any man seeks to hurt us may he break his neck." The congregation answered Amen. "We are strangers in this land. If good comes to it may we have our share." Amen. "But if bad comes let it go to the owners of the land who know what gods should be appeased." (1.37)
The men of Umuofia Progressive Union express their guiding principles here: that all good things come to them, and that bad things fall on others.
| Quote #2
"The civil service is corrupt because of these so-called experienced men at the top," said Obi.
Obi expresses his opinion that education breeds principles, in part because it offers opportunities that people would otherwise lack. If you lack those educational opportunities, but you still have ambition, you must seek advancement through corrupt methods.
| Quote #3
Customs formalities here took thrice as long as at Liverpool and five times as many officials. A young man, almost a boy in fact, was dealing with Obi's cabin. He told him that the duty on his radiogram would be five pounds.
Obi's return to Nigeria is immediately marked by corruption. He is approached by one of the customs officials for a bribe – but Obi clearly refrains, even though it will cost him more money.